Are You Concerned Anger May Be Hurting Your Life Or Relationships?
Do you regret things you say or do in the heat of the moment? Do you find yourself constantly apologizing or having to defend your actions? Have others told you that you have a tendency to overreact and they feel like they are walking on eggshells around you? Perhaps you are surprised at how quickly your anger can be triggered by frustration, disappointment or lack of cooperation from others. You may even be alarmed at the seemingly uncontrollable reactions and feel helpless, hopeless and afraid that what you say or do in the moment of anger may have long-term negative consequences. Do you want to acquire skills to calmly deal with difficult people and life’s unfairness, disappointments and adversity?
Or, maybe your anger is invisible to those around you, but you feel the oppressive weight of building resentment, frustration and hurt. While you may not lash out at your loved ones, you may find yourself shutting down, avoiding communication and becoming distant. Maybe your anger is showing up as irritability, annoyance or sarcasm. Or, perhaps you find yourself cycling endlessly between explosive anger followed by guilt and attempts to make amends, only to blow up again.
No matter how anger is showing up in your life, it has the potential to complicate relationships and undermine your self-esteem. Do you wish that you could learn to manage your anger?
Struggles With Anger Are Very Common
Anger is perhaps the most misunderstood of human emotions. We all know that it can be destructive and can ruin careers and intimate relationships. It can even harm our health as chronic anger and frustration can contribute to a host of health problems. At the same time, anger, like all emotions, is a signal that we should be listening to. On the most basic level, anger is part of our “Fight or Flight” survival response and, as such, has a protective role. It may be telling us that something is not working in our lives and that we should be taking steps to correct an unfair situation, to say “no” or to ask that our needs be met. Anger is the emotion that allows us to say “enough” when we are being treated badly. It can also give us strength and courage to stand up for others. For these reasons, we may instinctively hold on to our anger, as letting go of it would seem too much like letting go of our power.
It may be very confusing how this natural, healthy human emotion can become a source of so much suffering. Many factors can contribute to anger becoming problematic. The pressure to succeed in all domains of your life, overwhelming demands on your time and energy, lack of support, unmet emotional needs or even stressful daily commute can deplete your ability to deal with situations calmly. The built up frustration, resentment and the feeling that you have lost control over your life can set the stage for an emotional meltdown or pervasive irritability.
At times, our strong reactions seem out of proportion to the event that triggered them, which can leave us and others baffled by the overreaction. Our past experiences colour the way we perceive and react to our current situation. This creates a very strong negative response to events that bring back memories of a time in our past when we were threatened, humiliated or rejected, and this memory causes a sudden surge of powerful emotion.
The good news is that anger does not have to be your enemy. Anger management therapy can help you transform your anger into the protective force it was meant to be.
Anger Management Therapy Can Help You Live A More Peaceful And Satisfying Life
During our sessions, we will work together in a safe, non-judgmental space to explore and understand your anger. All emotions, anger included, provide us with information that is vital to our well-being. We will work together to listen to the message your anger is trying to deliver and develop a plan to help you gain control over your expressions of anger and address the underlying problems.
I can help you identify and understand external triggers so that you are not “ambushed” by your anger. You can learn self-soothing skills to calm yourself down before anger takes hold so you can see clearly what needs to be done in a given situation. As you become aware of your thinking patterns, you can learn to challenge negative or unrealistic thinking and start looking at situations in a more positive and balanced way. You can develop the awareness, confidence and communication skills you need to stand up for yourself and ask for what you need in ways that will be heard and understood while making the people around you feel respected and valued.
My approach to anger management therapy is grounded in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), assertiveness and communication skills training, as well as mindfulness, relaxation and stress management. These strategies have a proven record and can help you feel calm, confident and connected to the people who matter to you.
I have been helping individuals understand and manage anger for years, and I have seen how effective the support of an anger management therapist can be. With my support, you can find relief from anger and foster a healthier, more positive relationship with yourself and others.
But, you may still have questions or concerns about anger management therapy…
My partner is putting pressure on me to get anger management, but if I agree it will mean that I am to blame for all the problems in our relationship
It may seem like you are being blamed for challenges with your partner. But, a relationship is a two actor play in which each partner is responsible for their part. So, while your partner may be triggering your angry reactions, when you start responding in a calm manner, the tone of the entire interaction will change. As you learn to communicate clearly and listen with empathy, the two of you will have a chance to address issues and solve problems you are facing in your relationship.
If you feel strongly that your anger is part of a “dance” the two of you are performing together, you can ask your partner to attend anger management therapy as a couple. I have worked with numerous couples who struggled to find a sense of safety and connection because of the corrosive impact of angry exchanges between them. Learning in therapy how to express the more vulnerable emotions that fuel anger, such as feeling hurt or misunderstood, can allow you and your partner to create a stronger and more intimate connection.
My teenager has never outgrown the “terrible twos” except that now we have holes in the walls and abusive language in our home. Can anger management help?
Depending on the level of maturity and motivation of your teen, anger management therapy be very helpful in resolving harmful or unhealthy behavior. Your teen can develop tools to manage difficult emotions so that they can have a peaceful life and successful relationships. If your teen’s anger is being displayed only towards family members, family counselling might be a more productive approach, at least initially.
I have been told that I am an angry and bitter person, but I have very good reasons. Can anger management help me feel better when I have every right to feel angry?
It is understandable to have strong feelings of resentment or even hatred when you have been hurt or betrayed by the people who were supposed to be there for you. But, when we get allow ourselves to become consumed by feelings of anger and bitterness, we are placing our happiness and any possibility of new, loving relationships out of reach. In other words, our anger about the past can poison our present and our future. When you are ready to make a change, therapy can help you transform your anger and find forgiveness, inner peace and freedom.
Don’t Let Anger Run Your Life!
Do you still have questions about anger management therapy? I invite you to contact me at the West Island Neuropsychology And Counselling Center (514-697-7472) to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation to discuss your particular challenges and goals.
For more than 20 years I have been helping adults, teens, couples and families find pathways to more satisfying lives. I will listen to you with compassion and help you see possibilities for recovery and growth where you see none. Together, we can quickly but systematically discover and remove obstacles that are holding you back from living the life you were meant to live.